Our church celebrates freedom of belief and welcomes individuals and families of all backgrounds and faiths. Unitarian Universalism does not advocate a particular creed. We come together because of our shared commitment to values and to ways of living, not to religious dogma. See “What Is UU?” for more about the long history and tradition of Unitarian Universalism. The Strafford Universalist Society is the second oldest in Vermont and fourth oldest in the nation. Though the society was dormant for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, we are now growing again, meeting in the “new” church built in 1833 in South Strafford. We hope you will join us.
While continued concerns over Covid-19 and the delta variant are limiting our in-person gatherings, there are ways the Universalist Society of Strafford is helping people to remain spiritually strong and grow during these difficult times. They include:
Howard Thurman Series
Join with our former minister Mellen Kennedy who has put together a third Sunday of the Month services on Howard Thurman held via Zoom at 10 am. through May.
Howard Thurman’s life and teachings are the perfect medicine for our times. Thurman was called, “the saint of the Civil Rights Movement”, by Rep. John Lewis. Thurman was a mystic, an outstanding preacher, a scholar and a professor at Howard University and also Boston University and one of the most influential African Americans of the last century. He had a profound impact on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You’re invited to join us in this 8-month journey of transformation as we learn from and let Thurman’s insights, challenges and paradoxes wash over us with hope. Kristal and Mellen are delighted to have this opportunity for collaboration bringing Thurman’s message into our contentious world that so needs his wisdom and healing words today. We will welcome to the service participants from the Meetinghouse, the Empowerment Center and other congregations who are also interested in learning about Thurman and his legacy.
Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens founded Empowerment Center (EC), to help communities to empower themselves and discover both personal, familial and communal resources to live, learn and grow. EC is today working in Washington, DC, Maryland and Pittsburgh, PA to help individuals to recognize and maximize their social capital, strengthen total wellbeing, improve interpersonal relationships, and alliance with others. During each first Sunday, EC offers a meaningful (first Sunday only) Sunday morning empowerment meeting (non-religious/non-sectarian) for individuals of all faith traditions that is therapeutic, humanistic and wholistic.
Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy is a Universalist and Sufi minister who has the honor of serving as settled minister for the Springfield Meetinghouse.
Read more here: Howard Thurman (uuspringfieldvt.org)
Zoom Link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853
Strafford UU member John Freitag sends out a daily inspiration often with poems or readings from our UU hymnal or collections such as Life Prayers and The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy, as well as poets that speak to our New England weather and heritage like Robert Frost, David Budbill, and Emily Dickinson , and Native American poets like Joy Harjo and Joseph Bruchac. If you are interested in starting your days with something other than the news, send him an email at email@example.com
The last of the stain glass windows at the Universalist Church are now in the process of being rebuilt. This should guarantee their beauty graces the church for at least another 100 years. At the annual meeting it was decided to replace the Jesus figure in the window behind the pulpit with a UU chalice. Three designs will soon be made available for people to pick their preference. The old window will be saved and mounted on the wall in the back of the church along with pictures of past ministers who have served this church with a 223 years history.
On other Sundays there are many options for connecting with the UU community. Here are a few of them:
Close to home-
First Universalist Society of Hartland VT – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Zoom or telephone
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Zoom. Other activities also available via Zoom during the week.
North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Facebook Live.
Another easy to connect with congregation who has welcomed our members who wish to use this time to branch out a bit more-
Arlington Street Church – Worship service every Sunday at 11 via Zoom or telephone. Other activities also available during the week.
There are many more to check out in this list provided by the UUA.
For those who would like to use this time for quiet individual reflection, the UU website offers many resources to explore such as this searchable on-line library.
Guest at Your Table
Read more news from the Unitarian Universalist Community here: